The Brooklyn Nets closed out their West Coast road trip with a pair of losses, but they recovered nicely with two wins back at home, defeating the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers. Joe Johnson has sparked the offense, as he gets more and more comfortable in his new surroundings, Brook Lopez is coming into his own, scoring and rebounding, and Deron Williams orchestrates the offense. But the X factor for the team right now is the grit off the bench, led by wily veteran Reggie Evans.
The relentless, tenacious Evans is a rebounding machine, hauling in 12 boards in only 22-plus minutes in Friday's victory over the Clippers and doing it again on Sunday against the Trail Blazers, grabbing 14 rebounds, again in only 22-plus minutes off the bench. On Friday, he also chipped in with six points, was a +15 and drove his old team crazy, drawing two technicals. He repeated his performance in Sunday's matinee, drawing another late-game technical, and adding two points, two assists and a steal.
The Nets have now won five consecutive home games as they head into the much-anticipated Battle of New York, on Monday night, when they host the New York Knicks. And the bench has given the team a huge lift helping them return to their winning ways over the weekend. Evans is averaging eight rebounds per game, and leads the league with 20.8 rebounds per 48 minutes. He's almost always in the right position, and works harder than anyone else on the court. All that makes Reggie Evans the Unsung Hero of the Week.